Bin Laden burial followed Islamic custom, official says

WASHINGTON - Al Qaida leader Osama binLaden was buried at sea from the deck of a US aircraftcarrier in the north Arabian Sea after being washed accordingto Islamic custom and receiving a religious funeral, a USdefense official said on Monday.

"Preparations for at-sea burial began at 1:10 a.m. EST (0510GMT) and were completed at 2 a.m. EST," the official said."Traditional procedures for Islamic burial were followed."

"The deceased's body was washed and then placed in a whitesheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag and a militaryofficer read prepared religious remarks which were translatedinto Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete,the body was place on a prepared flat board, tipped up,whereupon the deceased's body eased into the sea," the officialsaid.

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